min read
Written by: 
Nikolaus Hilgenfeldt
Ecommerce Growth

Expanding Business to New Markets for ECommerce Growth

The economy has largely become globalized and digitalized in recent decades, with these trends not looking to go away anytime soon. 

Increased globalization doesn’t come without some challenges; however, it’s also been a great tailwind for online sellers to fuel business growth. By operating online and not being confined to a defined geographic location, the total addressable markets for ecommerce stores are much larger than they would have been on the local level alone.

Thus, if you want to grow your business by expanding into new markets, continue reading below as we explain why this may be a worthwhile investment for your brand, and how to do so successfully. 

Why Enter New Markets?

As we briefly mentioned above, the economy has taken on a global scale, allowing businesses to work with customers outside of their country’s borders and enjoy a much larger customer base than ever before. 

Going global and expanding business into new markets may not always be the right move for online sellers early on; however, many growing stores will hit the point where they’ve maxed out what’s possible in their target market, and need to look elsewhere for further growth. 

Thus, there is large upward potential provided to ecommerce businesses that operate in the globalized economy and have expanded to markets outside of their home country. Having a global presence today is the key to taking your business to the next level, and taking advantage of all the potential customers you may have around the world, not just in your area. 

Of course, this will rely on the amount of resources and tools you have to help make your expansion possible. However, it is a worthwhile endeavor for many online sellers, as it will significantly expand their customer base and future earnings potential. 

Common Reasons for Expansion

Again, the timing of when to move into global markets will depend on each business individually. However, there are some common pathways into global expansion that make sense, like: 

  • Existing demand in specific regions: online sellers may recognize notable traffic to their site from other countries or regions; this may occur for a number of reasons, though it’s worth investigating further to see if it has long standing potential and worth entering into the new market to take advantage of the demand;
  • Nearby markets with easy entry: ecommerce brands may make their first globalization efforts into nearby regions and markets that share logistics or entry points (U.S./Canada, EU countries); this physical proximity gives the new markets low barriers to entry; 
  • Language and cultural similarities: brands may have an easier time expanding into markets that share languages or cultural values (U.S./Canada/U.K./Australia); there may also be cultural tailwinds in global markets that make it easier to introduce new products to foreign countries;
  • Wholesale partnerships: ecommerce stores that rely on wholesale partnerships can gain insights into what markets are hot at any given time; this includes pricing guidance, messaging, and other insights that can be helpful while launching in a new market;
  • Right time, right place: some online sellers will sell a product category that becomes a global phenomenon at a given point; sellers might notice unexpected demand for their products in random markets or regions, with seemingly no reasoning behind it.

So if your business is coming into one of these above scenarios, it could be a wise choice to take advantage of the situation and expand business into new markets. Below, you will find some of the main steps to take in order to grow your business in new markets. 

Redefine Your Customer Avatar

At this point of running your online store, you likely have a good idea of who your customers are and the niche audience you do business with. If you haven’t–you need to get a good idea of your customer avatar before going global. 

Essentially, your customer avatar encompasses the interests, values and demographics of your ideal customer. This can be a crucial resource for your marketing strategy, sales efforts, and other business functions in order to keep your business on track and serve your customers’ interests over anything else.

Your customer avatar isn’t everything, but it is a good starting point and place you can return to to ensure that you’re making business decisions that align with your customer base. Thus, this principle doesn’t change as you expand into new markets. 

When you make this strategy decision to go global, you’ll need to redefine your customer avatar to incorporate the needs, interests, demographics and preferences of your global customers. Plus, this step can also help you recognize the markets worth pursuing, and which ones you can avoid. 

For some ecommerce stores, this move won’t change their customer avatar too much compared to the one they’ve created for their local customers. However, it’s important to take the time to research your new customer base and incorporate their preferences into your business to best serve them. With this step complete, you’ll be in a good place to continue your expansion efforts with this baseline knowledge in mind. 

Leverage Automation

As you grow your business by entering into new markets, automation will quickly become your new best friend. Automation may seem like the point of conversation across many markets today, and ecommerce is no different. Within the ecommerce space, automation is revolutionizing warehousing, order processing, customer service, and other aspects of running an online business in a way that helps merchants become more efficient and save on costs.

Let’s take a look at some of the main uses of automation for ecommerce stores: 

  • Customer support with chatbots
  • Inventory and order management
  • Email marketing
  • Customer data and feedback
  • Social media scheduling and posting

Above all, automation will help take care of the menial, repetitive tasks that you or team members may be bogged down with. Thus, this will free up valuable time for high-level planning and strategizing that will be required as you’re entering a new market. 

Especially once you expand into new markets, your workload will grow in lockstep, meaning automation will only become more valuable to your business as it continues to grow. Even still, you’ll need to be diligent with your research into automation tools and investments. Otherwise, you could spend a significant amount of capital on tools that end up being useless to your operations, or purchase systems that overlap and functionalities and make the other obsolete.

Thus, investing in automation for your ecommerce store can give you an edge over the competition and make your entire operations run more efficiently, but you’ll have to do so with careful consideration. 

Build an Authoritative Presence

There are many aspects on the logistics and payments side that must be organized in order to expand business into new markets. However, there is another side to these expansion efforts that also must be accounted for. 

The strategy side of entering new markets cannot be overlooked, and can be the good basis for the rest of the pieces that go into an expansion. On this note, brands must build an authoritative presence and global name for themselves if they want this strategy to be successful. 

There are plenty of examples of brands that were all the rage at home in their local markets, but flopped on the global scale. Think of food items that are regionally adored, but not as much in foreign countries. If this is not considered before making expansion efforts, it could prove to be a disaster for the whole strategy. 

Additionally, until you actually start selling to global consumers, there is no reason for these buyers to have the trust and confidence in your brand that domestic customers have built. Thus, you will likely need to invest in marketing spend that will help educate global consumers on your brand, engage them to perk their interest, and host events where they can try out your products before buying the goods on their own. 

With this, content marketing will be a major aspect of your expansion efforts. However, you’ll need to customize the writing, videos, and other media to be specific to the region you’re trying to enter. We will touch on this more below, however, it’s an important step to making sure your efforts are engaged and received well by these foreign consumers. 

Learn from Global Peers

Another great way to ensure that your expansion efforts into new markets goes smoothly is to learn from the global names that are already operating in these regions. 

When you’re entering new markets, you are not only competing against other global names in your niche, but you’re also coming up against the local names in the market as well. If you do not take the time to research your potential competitors and learn from what they’ve done correctly so far, you are missing out on a large opportunity. 

By learning from your peers, you can gain the same insights they’ve learned from their experience, without having to invest the time and resources that they have. With this, you can skip a large part of the trial and error processes associated with entering a new market, and largely follow in their footsteps. 

Of course, you cannot take advantage of their private or protected trade secrets and should stick to what’s publicly available about your peers. However, there is plenty of information out there that you can access to see how companies like yours have made their expansion efforts possible. See what you can do better than they have done, because after all, you will be competing against them for market share. 

Customize for Different Markets

As we briefly discussed above, you’ll need to adapt and customize your strategies to fit the needs of the markets you’re entering in order to successfully enter new markets. 

Rather than thinking of the global expansion on a broad scale, think of your expansion efforts as entering a number of individual markets. So if you plan on entering multiple countries at the same time, be sure to not combine them into one group while strategizing, and continue to treat them as separate entities. 

Thus, you may want to start separate social media pages for your brand that are tailored to a specific market. With this, you’ll be able to direct all messaging, content, and language to the right group of consumers. Plus, you’ll want to get a translation for your webpage if needed as you expand into new markets. 

Don’t just assume that you can throw your existing web copy into Google translate and call it good. Adapting to each market goes beyond the words on the page–you’ll also need to shift your messaging, branding, and other cultural details in a way that resonates with foreign consumers. This is why it’s so important to recognize the markets worth pursuing from the very beginning, because these are time-intensive steps that you’ll need to take in order to see a successful expansion. 

Expand Business Into New Markets with Myos

As you can see from this guide, expanding your business into new markets is no easy feat. However, with the proper resources, preparation, and strategy, you can leverage the globalized economy to your advantage to sell more and grow your business into a global brand. 

In many ways, expanding into new markets requires a good amount of capital. And while there are many funding sources available to fuel ecommerce growth, few offer as many benefits and little downsides as asset-based financing. 

With this route, online sellers don’t need years of business performance to qualify. Instead, asset-based lenders will analyze the products you sell and what your future prospects are based on these features. This makes it a much more reasonable financing option than other choices like bank loans or equity financing. 

With Myos, online sellers don’t need to make a personal guarantee in order to be approved. This takes away the personal risk you face with other financing options. Plus, we make funding decisions quickly, as we know the ecommerce space moves quickly and you need to act fast–especially when you’re looking to expand business into new markets. 

Sellers who work with Myos enjoy lean documentation requirements and flexible repayment schedules, among other benefits. So boost sales and grow your business today with Myos asset-based financing

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